Joe Burrow may have suffered his fifth loss of the season Sunday with the struggling Cincinnati Bengals, but it was a game in which he did everything he possibly could for a different outcome.
In a 37-34 loss to the Cleveland Browns, the first-year starter tossed for 406 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for an additional 34 yards and a touchdown.
Despite the loss, Burrow did set another record, becoming the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400+ yards and three touchdowns while running for a score. He also joined Andrew Luck, Daniel Jones and Kyler Murray as the fourth rookie quarterback to throw for 300+ yards five times in the same season.
With 2,023 yards passing through seven games, Burrow is on pace for 4,624 passing yards this season, which would break the NFL’s rookie record, set by Andrew Luck who threw for 4,374 yards in 2012.
Burrow did everything he could to ensure a Bengals victory, driving his offense 75 yards on 10 plays for a go ahead touchdown with 1:06 left. Unfortunately for the Bengals, Baker Mayfield led the Browns down the field in 55 seconds for what became the game-winning touchdown.
“That's what I expect of myself," Burrow said of his final drive. “It's known as exciting, but I expect myself to do that every week. At the end of the game, I'm comfortable and confident that I'm going to go down and make the play to win. Unfortunately, Baker was playing out of his mind and led that 2-minute drive."
Whether it’s the offensive line or the defense, the Bengals have been in practically every game they’ve played in this season, with the lone exception being against the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago. This season was always viewed as the trial run to see just what the future with Burrow under center would look like.
With just one loss coming by more than one score, it shows that once Burrow gets the requisite parts around him for more consistent success, the Bengals will be in line for better outcomes.